NH’s U.S. Senate race: what’s your preference?

(For poll result, see “The Natives are Restless.”)

As if it’s not obvious, this is a thoroughly unscientific poll. If the election were held today, how would you vote in New Hampshire’s U.S. Senate race on November 4? Optional: leave a comment on this post about your choice. Share the poll on social media with your pro-life contacts. I want to hear from pro-life voters, although there’s no way to restrict participation by others. Let’s see if anything turns up here that’s not being reflected in campaign coverage so far.

Cringe-worthy ads from Shaheen and Brown

I didn’t get to my TV remote’s Mute button fast enough to cut off Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s ad. She used the term “anti-choice.” She was apparently referring to anyone who disagrees with her on any aspect of abortion and the right to life. This was her own ad, not paid for by an outside PAC.

That’s how she treats her constituents, New Hampshire residents, who disagree with her: she slaps a label on them and figuratively files them away.

Anyone who disagrees with her about keeping abortion legal throughout pregnancy, anyone who favors parental involvement in an adolescent girl’s decision about her pregnancy, anyone who denies abortion providers a share of public money, anyone who helped make partial-birth abortion illegal in New Hampshire, anyone who stands in peaceful (even silent) pro-life witness outside an abortion facility: anti-choice.

New Hampshire residents deserve better than being called names by their senior U.S. senator.

Name-calling and labeling haven’t stopped pro-life activists before, and they won’t stop us now. Still, there’s only a certain amount of contempt I’ll tolerate from an elected official before I make a priority of electing someone else.

As for Scott Brown, star of a cringe-worthy new ad in which he says he’s pro-choice AND he’ll fund Planned Parenthood (not “let them bid on state contracts,” mind you, but straight “fund PP”), his advantage over Shaheen to my jaundiced eye is that electing him will stop Shaheen’s further accrual of seniority and influence. That’s enough for me, although Brown still has three weeks to drive away potential supporters. If he backs away from Blunt-Amendment-style conscience protections for employers who don’t want to help pay for contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs under Obamacare, his me-too will be complete. A nauseating prospect, that.

I shared a meal recently with a good-sized group of New Hampshire pro-lifers (a mix of GOP and independents, politically active, most from the state’s southern tier), and I found that their support for Brown ranges from shaky to nonexistent. For many of them, how they’ll vote in the U.S. Senate race will be a game-time decision. Sadly, Brown’s I’m-pro-choice ad cost him a lot of good will among people who have every reason to want to retire Shaheen.

Given the indisputable fact that there is no pro-life candidate in this race, I’m voting for the candidate who will have less seniority in the Senate if elected. Based on the conversations I’ve had, that’s not the prevailing view among local pro-life activists. Another cringe-worthy ad from the challenger is all it will take to alienate them altogether.


Looking forward to your comments below!


Gosnell Protection Act gets DC hearing; Shaheen is co-sponsor

Americans United for Life is reporting that Tuesday, July 15, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee will hold a hearing on S. 1696. Called by its supporters a “Women’s Health Protection Act,” this federal bill would gut all legislation now in place to regulate abortion. New Hampshire’s parental notification law and partial-birth abortion ban are two of the laws that would be lost if S. 1696 were to pass.

Jeanne Shaheen, New Hampshire’s senior senator, is a co-sponsor of this bill. It was introduced last November, along with a companion bill in the House (see Shaheen, Kuster co-sponsoring the Gosnell Taught Us Nothing Act).

Women’s health? Hardly. This is a Gosnell Protection Act. It would leave abortion to the abortionists. No parental involvement. No conscience protection for health care workers who refuse to participate in abortion. Complete protection for sex selection abortion and eugenic abortion. No counseling required.

Will any of Shaheen’s 2014 challengers call her on this?


Text of S.1696

AUL analysis of the bill




Testerman urges support for Smith, citing conservative unity


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Nine months ago, Karen Testerman sat down with me to discuss her thoughts about running to replace Jeanne Shaheen in the U.S. Senate. Later, she declared her intention to run. She was undeterred by other candidates, preferring to make her own case to voters statewide. Today, on the last day for New Hampshire’s 2014 candidates to file for office, she arrived at the State House with Bob Smith, and announced that she has decided to back him for Senate.

I know Karen, and I know this had to be a tough call for her. Thumbs up, I say, particularly after I stood amid the crowd today and heard her statement.

…time and again, I observe elections where candidates who fully embrace the principles of the Republican Party split the conservative vote, thus enabling the candidate who compromises our basic tenets of life, liberty and property to slide into victory…. I will not let it happen again. The definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over again, expecting a different result….It is time for all of us to put aside pride and focus on our greater goal, that of fighting for family, faith and freedom. I will not force our principle-driven primary voters to make a self-defeating choice. After much prayer and consultation, I will step aside to allow [former] Senator Bob Smith to be the only conservative name on the primary ballot.”

Pro-life is not necessarily synonymous with conservative or Republican (ask any self-identified “liberty Republican”), but it sure is when Testerman and Smith are speaking. They don’t want to split the pro-life vote. Good for them.

Ten Republicans have filed for the right to face Shaheen in November. Most are unknown outside their communities. I’ll identify the pro-lifers, but it’s a safe bet that aside from Smith, none of them can bring a dozen years of Senate seniority to the table.

Scott Brown: remember the Blunt Amendment

It’s official, and it’s no surprise: Scott Brown is running in New Hampshire’s Republican U.S. Senate primary, in hopes of replacing Democrat Jeanne Shaheen.

I recently had a short, pleasant, and unexpected conversation with him. On this occasion I had no notebook, no audio recorder, and no preparation. He knew I’m pro-life, and I know he calls himself pro-choice. So what about that?

Regarding the right to life, he affirmed “I’m a pro-choice Republican. But I’ve always been in favor of parental involvement. Against federal funding. Remember the Blunt Amendment? I voted for it. That cost me the election.” (That was 2012, when he lost his U.S. Senate seat from Massachusetts to Elizabeth Warren.)

Remember the Blunt Amendment. That’s worth mentioning. At the time it came up, Scott Brown said, “No one should be forced by government to do something that violates the teachings of their faith.” That’s the sort of thing that prompted EMILY’s List to support Warren over Brown.

When Obamacare’s contraceptive mandate (the HHS mandate) was first announced, requiring employers to participate in the provision of contraceptive and abortion-inducing drugs, Missouri senator Roy Blunt tried to get conscience exemptions written into the law. In the parliamentary whirl of Beltway politics, that meant trying to tack an amendment onto a highway bill. The amendment was killed, with Brown voting with most of his Republican colleagues to support conscience rights. (Maine Republican Olympia Snowe cast the sole Republican vote to kill the measure.)

Brown told me that cost him the election – “and I’d support it again.” Here’s an op-ed he wrote for the Boston Globe in 2012 about the issue.

When he spoke with me, Brown went on to say, “This election is going to be about the economy.” That will be music to the ears of the legacy Republicans who sang the same song in 2012 and then wondered why social conservatives stayed home – not to mention music to the ears of Shaheen Democrats who know that they can make the election all about social issues, knowing “economy” candidates won’t fight back. But I digress.

I give Brown credit for calling me out of the blue, and for being straightforward with me about being “pro-choice.” More so, I respect and thank him for his support of the Blunt Amendment.

This wasn’t a formal sit-down, so I don’t consider it part of my series of interviews with the Senate candidates. The three published so far are with Karen Testerman, Jim Rubens, and Bob Smith.